Press Release

REBNY Announces Winners for 35th Annual Residential Deal of the Year Awards


May 16, 2024

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Charity and Awards Celebration Attracted Approximately 400 Members to Recognize Outstanding Achievement and Character for Residential Salespeople

NEW YORK, NY – New York City residential brokerage leaders came together on May 16th at The Edison Ballroom, located at 240 W. 47th Street in Manhattan to honor winners of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)’s Residential Deal of the Year Awards. In its 35th year, the charity and awards gala was organized by members of the Residential Member in Need Fund Committee, which provides grants to residential brokers and agents who are in financial need due to unexpected illness or hardship.

The Residential Member in Need Fund Committee, along with members of the Residential Co-Chair Council and Residential Board of Directors served as judges for each award presented at the event.

  • The First Place Residential Sales Deal of the Year Award was given to Taruna Sharma of CORE Group Marketing LLC and Jennifer Roberts and Greg Holzmann of Compass. The winning transaction required managing multiple challenges trying to sell two adjacent apartments that had been vacant for years, possessed mold and were connected to administrators, beneficiaries and vendors that were difficult to reach and unfamiliar with the co-op resale process in Manhattan. The apartment took 18 months before it was ready to list, after which the agent was able to generate multiple offers to satisfy sales requirements set by courts under challenging market conditions.

  • The Second Place Residential Sales Deal of the Year Award was given to Robin L. Rothman of Sotheby’s International Realty and Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. The agent in this transaction had represented a family in search of their dream home for many months before identifying the perfect building for them. The issue was the building had only one apartment available for sale that quickly turned over before the family could make an offer. After waiting some time for something else to open up and unsuccessful attempts to convince owners of apartments listed for rent to sell, the family pivoted to other options. Soon after, an opportunity to buy in a new building being built closer to what was their original goals for a home came up. To make the deal work, the agent proposed and designed plans to combine multiple planned units in the upcoming building. Once the family agreed to this conversion idea, the agent coordinated architects and other vendors to put together a plan to present to the developer. All stakeholders accepted the plan and the agent’s shrewd management of unexpected hurdles that came up through the development process ultimately landed the family in a brand-new apartment, designed to their needs and significantly less expensive than the original building they could not get into right next door.

  • The Third Place Residential Sales Deal of the Year Award was given to Amy S. Katcher of The Corcoran Group, Brittanie C. Bowers and Leslie J.W. Singer of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC and Noble B. Black of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. This distinguished deal involved making a transaction work on behalf of a titan of industry who was initially tripped up closing a new home purchase at a prestigious address by the co-op board that shunned at the discovery that the buyer’s significant assets were primarily outside of a U.S. Trust. The buyer’s broker leveraged strong relationships on the seller’s team and strategized a sophisticated proposal that would guarantee the maximum yearly transfer legally allowed from the buyer’s foreign assets to the U.S. Trust to demonstrate to the board that the buyer had more than sufficient funds to carry this home. As this agreement was accepted and a contract was being finalized, the deal went into jeopardy once it was discovered that the apartment was not legally combined. The seller’s broker found a remarkable and attractively priced expeditor/contractor who completed a 6-8 month task to legally combine the apartments within two months with the sign-offs from the board and city equally expeditiously.

  • The Residential Rental Deal of the Year Award was given to Andrea Kelly of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. This assignment involved the challenge of leasing two units to tenants who would have to agree to not cook meat or fish in the units at the request of the life-long vegan landlord who lived on the top floor of the pre-war brownstone. After sharing the listing on various vegetarian and vegan Facebook groups, the broker began to receive media requests on the unique lease stipulation. By respectfully and strategically managing media coverage of the unique listing, a vegan food brand reached out to the broker with an idea to assist filling the apartments by offering a year’s worth of vegan food and a month’s free rent to the prospective tenants that signed a lease. With these incentives, the broker was ale to quickly sign deals for both apartments at palatable prices leaving landlord and tenants thrilled.

In addition to the Deal of the Year awards, the gala honored several individuals for performance and character.

  • Ari S. Harkov of Brown Harris Stevens, Residential Sales LLC for Residential Agent of the Year. Nominated by agents and associate brokers, the winner of this award demonstrates leadership in both the real estate industry and community for at least five consecutive years.

  • Arjun Nair of Nest Seekers LLC for Residential Rookie of the Year. This award recognizes current and potential professional achievement as well as high moral character and professional ethical conduct of a salesperson licensed no earlier than August 30, 2021.

  • Stephen G. Kliegerman of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC for The Eileen Spinola Award for Distinguished Service. This award honors a member who has made significant contributions to the REBNY community by donating time, expertise, and knowledge in the areas of education, ethics, and professional services for the betterment of the real estate industry.

  • Douglas A. Wagner of Bond New York Properties LLC for The Henry Forster Memorial Award. This award is presented to an agent, associate broker or broker whose outstanding record of achievement and conduct within both the industry and the community has brought recognition to them, their firm and the profession.

The full list of deal of the year award submissions can be found here and contest rules here.

“Residential brokerage professionals work tirelessly to help New Yorkers find a home and manage transactions that for many will be the most financially impactful of their entire life,” said James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York. “This work requires a wide range of skills, has no clock-in/clock-out time and drives significant tax revenues to the City. REBNY is proud to honor the most remarkable deals recognized tonight as well as the broader contributions of our residential members to the City at large.”

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit

Chris Santarelli
(212) 616-5249

Topics Covered

  • Awards